The national day of flag waving and celebratory blow ups is nearly upon us and to mark it, we've found just the album to honor our leaders of the past in indie-rock/folk song.
Not to let They Might Be Giants corner the market on presidential songs, a new album pulled together by the trio of Christian Kiefer, Matthew Gerken and Jefferson Pitcher chronicles the tales of our historical leading men on Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs For 43 Presidencies. It's like a modern day Schoolhouse Rock for presidents with help from fellow balladeers Bill Callahan, Xiu Xiu, Califone, Mark Kozelek, Alan Sparhawk, Wooden Wand, Radar Bros., Marla Hansen, Rosie Thomas, Tom Brousseau.
Although my interest is piqued, I haven't actually heard the whole album (it doesn't release until September), but I did hunt down an MP3 of the James Monroe track (which features Marla Hansen) titled "The Last Cocked Hat."
The album is a three disc set releasing on Standard Recording Co. on Sept. 9, 2008. And to stay current as long as possible, they also plan on writing a song about our 44th President, and releasing it as a download come November.
I'm trying to brainstorm who I would like to see singing about our next president. I'm hooked on Girl Talk right now, so I'm voting for that. And you? Any sample lyrics?
Any other ideas for good presidential song / indie rock pairings?
Here's the tracklisting:
1.George Washington: Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus (Feat. Vince DiFiore of Cake)
2.John Adams: Armed with Only Wit and Vigor and the U.S. Navy (Feat. These United States)
3.Thomas Jefferson: The Mouldboard of Least Resistance
4.James Madison: Zinger
5.James Monroe: The Last Cocked Hat (Feat. Marla Hansen)
6.John Quincy Adams: Death In The Speaker's Room
7.Andrew Jackson: Benevolence (Feat. Califone)
8.Martin Van Buren: The Little Magician (Feat. Tom Brosseau)
9.William Henry Harrison: So You Don't Have To
10.John Tyler: Hindsight Falls On Deaf Ears (Feat. Bill Callahan)
11.James Polk: The Other is Better / The Landscape to Transform (Feat. Monahans)
12.Zachary Taylor: Rough and Ready
13.Millard Fillmore: The Proof Is In The Pudding
14.Franklin Pierce: My Only Enemy Is Myself
1.James Buchanan: God Will Strike You Down (Feat. Marla Hansen)
2.Abraham Lincoln: Malice, Charity, And The Oath of God (Feat. James Jackson Toth)
3.Andrew Johnson: Was Ever Alone?
4.Ulysses S. Grant: Helicopters Above Oakland
5.Rutherford B. Hayes: The Beard of God
6.James Garfield: Seven Months
7.Chester Arthur: The Epitome of Dignity
8.Grover Cleveland: Bees And Honey
9.Benjamin Harrison: Kid Gloves Hands Surplus to Big Sugar
10.Grover Cleveland: Rubbermouth
11.William McKinley: Czolgosz's Dream (Feat. Magnolia Summer)
12.Theodore Roosevelt: The Sherman Act Does Not Care
13.William Howard Taft: There Was No Longer Use To Hide The Fact That It Was Gout (Feat. Marla Hansen)
14.Woodrow Wilson: A Life Among Men (Feat. Jamie Stuart of Xiu Xiu)
1.Warren Harding: An Army Of Pompous Phrases
2.Calvin Coolidge: On Silence (Feat. Radar Bros.)
3.Herbert Hoover: Woe Is A Spoon-Shaped Heart (Feat. Marla Hansen)
4.Franklin D. Roosevelt: Illuminating The Bright Lines
5.Harry S. Truman: Suits And Fine Trousers Vs. Hiroshima (Feat. Denison Witmer)
6.Dwight D. Eisenhower: When Ike Walked The Land (Feat. Alan Sparhawk & Mark Kozelek)
7.John F. Kennedy: There Is No Plan
8.Lyndon B. Johnson: Ladybird Take Me Home (Feat. Steve Dawson)
9.Richard Nixon: 2 Under Par Off The Coast of Africa (Feat. Tom Carter)
10.Gerald Ford: Now You See It, Now You Don't See It (Feat. Vince DiFiore)
11.Jimmy Carter: A Great Beam of Light (Feat. Rosie Thomas)
12.Ronald Reagan: Such A Marvelous Dream (Feat. Califone)
13.George H.W. Bush: It Was Foreshadowed Here: The Beginning of The End
14.William J. Clinton: The Mighty Lion Will Not Roar Again
15.George W. Bush: Though The Night